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Unformatted text preview: Unfinished business: the Bill of Rights and the first cabinet. In ratifying the Constitution, five states had insisted on adding provisions to protect the people against governmental abuse. The new Congress thus appointed a committee to consider possible amendments to the Constitution, which collectively became known as the Bill of Rights. Under the leadership of James Madison, seventeen were originally proposed; they were reduced to twelve by the Senate; ten were eventually ratified by the states. The most fundamental concerns were incorporated into the First Amendment: freedom of religion, speech, and the press and the right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The Second Amendment guaranteed that the states could form their own militiasforerunners of the modern National Guard unitsand, in a somewhat vague fashion, that...
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- Fall '08